As Rodgers hit the tee box at the Pebble-Beach Pro-Am golf tournament on Thursday, February 2, event broadcaster Cole Knost asked the quarterback over the PA system if he had any news he wanted to share with the crowd about his playing future. NFL reporter Dov Kleiman tweeted video of the interaction.
Rodgers laughed as he lined up his shot on the Par 3 hole, then offered a one-sentence answer.
“I’m not going to San Fran,” Rodger said.
Packers Have Reason to Avoid Trading Rodgers to 49ers
Exactly how seriously to regard Rodgers’ comments is hard to say. The context and tone of the question and answer had the aura of good-natured banter to them — or, in other words, a joke. Still, Rodgers chose to single out only one potential trade destination and exclude it from the list of possibilities, creating a lot of media fodder in the process.
Another interesting element about Rodgers’ playing situation next season is that while the quarterback continues to talk about it like the decision is entirely in his hands, the Packers hold the controlling stake of leverage.
Rodgers is under contract with Green Bay for the next two seasons and does not have a no-trade clause included in the deal. It’s ultimately up to the Packers where they trade Rodgers, or whether they trade him at all, though the quarterback can use the ever-present threat of his retirement to essentially veto any major move.
Perhaps the most ironic part of Rodgers’ comment that he won’t be playing with the 49ers next season is that the QB actually pushed for a trade to the San Francisco 49ers in 2021, which the Packers rebuffed. The Niners have had Green Bay’s number in the playoffs during the Rodgers era and have become perhaps the Packers’ top rival outside of the NFC North Division because of it.
San Francisco made its third NFC Championship Game appearance in four years last weekend and appeared to be essentially a quarterback away from another trip to the Super Bowl. Being that he could easily become playoff competition down the road, it actually makes much more sense that Green Bay would be the uninterested party when it comes to a Rodgers trade to San Francisco, not the Niners or the QB himself.
Raiders, Jets Among Candidates to Acquire Rodgers From Green Bay
Tom Brady’s retirement earlier this week has already created even more demand in the quarterback market, leaving teams like the New York Jets and the Las Vegas Raiders among the likely candidates to make a move for Rodgers if he is, in fact, available.
Rodgers told The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday that he would make his decision on retirement relatively quickly, though not before the Super Bowl is played on February 12. However, things could move quickly after that and see Rodgers ultimately play his 19th NFL season in a different uniform.